LGD...

drdoolittle

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Does anyone use unconventional breeds for guarding livestock or mixed breeds?

What age is too old to start training a dog as an LGD?

Also, does anyone have house dogs and LGDs? We have 7 house dogs, none of them are LGD breeds, all rescues. I considered training one of them, but don't think that will work as they wpuld only cry and whine to come back to the house.

What are your opinions/thoughts? We mostly have problems with raccoons/foxes/weasels and have coyotes in the area.

Asking because I'm considering having an LGD, and one pup I have considered is a Catahoula/GSD/Aussie/Lab mix that is 6 months old. Another issue besides his breed mix is that he has been someone's pet....so don't know if he's even possibly trainable as an LGD....this os Dexter.
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Baymule

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What livestock do you have?

Nope. Nope. Nope. You wouldn’t take a Chihuahua out hunting and retrieving ducks, you would get a hunting breed. You wouldn’t herd cattle with a Labrador. There are specific breeds, bred for hundreds of years, for specific jobs.

A LGD is a dog bred for hundreds if not for several thousand years to operate independently on his own, protecting his flock. You don’t get that in a mixed breed mutt, comprised of hunting dog breeds. That is a recipe for disaster.

I have a black Lab/Great Dane that is wonderful with the poultry and sheep. But he is not a LGD. Not even a little bit. Nope.

If you were accused of a crime, would you hire an attorney or would you rather place your life in the hands of a truck driver because he’s a nice guy and works cheap?
 

Mini Horses

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Yep, the LGDs have genetics that make them OCD for watching, patrolling, alerting, taking their charges to safety and protecting with their own lives if a predator continues to approach. It is just their "very being". They prefer to tell a predator "not here" but are ready & willing to confront & kill. They are always thinking of and watching their herd. Always. They think own their on.

While some dogs will alert to a stranger, maybe attack...that is often ALL they do. Then, relax on the porch. You may be a good "farm dog" from one of yours but, not an LGD.
 

Baymule

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The best thing you can do is to educate yourself. Read the posts in this forum, study them. There are failures and successes here, learn from them. An LGD is an entity of it's own. Even if you have had 10,000 dogs, you haven't had one like a LGD.

What are you wanting to be guarded?
 

drdoolittle

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The best thing you can do is to educate yourself. Read the posts in this forum, study them. There are failures and successes here, learn from them. An LGD is an entity of it's own. Even if you have had 10,000 dogs, you haven't had one like a LGD.

What are you wanting to be guarded?
THANK YOU!! I have pot belly pigs, Nigerian Dwarf goats, a miniature horse and soon a former pony ride pony.

We also have 45 chickens, but are building them a new coop closer to the house with 2 runs (one 10'x10', available at all times and a 30'x32' available for most days (the only times they won't have access to the larger run is if we won't be there to put them in at night, the smaller run is completely enclosed).
 

Beekissed

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Your dog may make a great farm dog but won't function like a LGD breed when it comes to guarding specific flocks of animals and remaining in the fields with them.

Coming from being a house dog, it may lack the early instincts and savvy that an outdoor dog learns when just a pup, but you could try it. It won't work at all if you bring it indoors at night and it won't work if you don't teach it that your chickens are not to be touched.

A good farm dog will guard the area from predators and if your livestock live in his guard area, he can keep most from touching them. I have a LGD breed dog that is not much on being a good farm dog...he won't kill small predators at all, he's great at keeping the aerial predators at bay, and does a great job of warding off the coyotes and black bear on our land. I pair up my LGD dogs with mutts that are good farm dogs so I can get the best of both worlds.

The catahoula breed is supposed to make for GREAT farm dogs, so it will depend on his prey drive, how good a trainer you are and if you've established pack leadership, if he will perform the way you want in regards to guarding the general property.

If you have small property and low predator pressure, he might get you through...but there are a lot of "mights" in there. And, no, he's not considered a true livestock guardian type animal, though he may do an excellent job at guarding the land and driving off most predators, he won't normally bond with the stock so that he stays with them out in the pasture.

He sure is a beautiful dog! I'd take him out and train him on chickens first, establish a pecking order between you, him and the livestock and just see how it goes. It never hurts to try and don't let anyone tell you a farm mutt can't keep the coyotes and bear away...I had a lab/BC mix that kept them off my chickens here for years before I got him a LGD breed to help him.

The right dog can do a lot on a small holding, you just need to find out if you have the right dog.
 

drdoolittle

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I just found these 2 Pyrennes puppies for sale very close to me! They are 3 1/2 months old, out of working stock.

Here is part of the ad:
"They have been raised outside as guardians for our small farm. Exposed to chickens, goats, ducks, ponies, small children, and loud vehicles."

If they are available, I am seriously considering getting one! One is female, one is male. In everyone's experience, is one sex a better guardian?
The price is great because they had been held for someone who never picked them up!
"
 
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Baymule

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Just get one, you don't need them both. LGDs will not bond with poultry, but will consider them part of their domain, thus protecting them. Poultry makes fun toys to play with, you must be diligent in your training. Don't tempt a pup past what it can endure. Let the poultry out under your supervision or take the pup in the coop, praising good behavior, making it clear that the birds are YOURS and he is not to play with them.

Male or female? Whatever personality you are comfortable with. Females come in heat and must be put up. Males smell females in heat and want to go get themselves a girlfriend. I recommend spay or neuter, no less than 18 months old, large dogs need their hormones to attain full growth.
 

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Side note and I wish someone had told me this before I got Ben neutered....that oft times LGD breeds can develop fear of loud noises after neutering. Mine did and it's rendered him pretty useless when it thunders, when guns are shot(he'll take off for the next county, no matter what electric boundary is in his way), etc.

At those times...and that's often around here...he has to be tied. A tied dog can't protect livestock very well.
 
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